In my opinion dating at any age can be a frightening thing. But how will you ever find the one if you never get out there? I sometimes ask myself if I’m better off avoiding the obstacles of dating altogether. It is a cold world. I really think that part of my reality is pictured based on what my grandmother and grandfather had. But they sure do no t make couples like they used to.
When I reached the age of 30 + is when my patience definitely shifted. The things that I may have tolerated in my 20’s is not what I will tolerate at this stage in my life. Let’s talk about what has changed for me since turning 30 and being a mother.
1. Overlooking the small stuff. Making a decision to date no longer is a thought that I can just think of what is best for me. I also have to consider what would be a good fit for my kids. Before having children, my dating choices was not the best. Just to put it into perspective, I dated someone that on the first date, we went to the movies. When we were leaving the movies, he walked ahead of me to get the door first and in my mind, I expected him to hold the door. That is what I thought was common courtesy anyway. Even for a stranger that could be walking behind me I naturally would hold the door for them. So when this particular person let the door shut, that should have been the end. That relationship however, lasted five years. I may have overlooked the small stuff back then, but now I have a new perspective. I have children and daughters at that. It is important for them to see how they should be treated. The small things that you choose to overlook will become bigger issues later. When you are younger thinking about stability is not as important as looking for someone that dresses nice, or that is tall, dark, and handsome.
2. Clear intentions. Once you reach a certain age, dating for sport is no longer an option. I think for myself and many women, that have had nothing but long term relationships during my entire 20’s, I really felt like those individuals were going to be my husband. But now that I think about it, we never had clear intentions as far as what we were looking to gain or to get out of a relationship. We never discussed important topics such as do you want to have kids, do you see yourself getting married, do you know any married couples? These are things that I consider now when I think about dating. I myself did not have any marriages to look to for inspiration. As a matter of fact, because of what I have witnessed growing up, I never even wanted to be married. Marriage just seem to complicate things. In the event the marriage did not work, properties had to be split, people had to involve the courts, and it really gets challenging when children are involved. I’m not saying that we have to get engaged or married on the second date, but the conversation has to be had. Everyone that crosses your path, may not have the desire to get married. Would you be alright with that?
3. Go back to the basics. This generation would prefer to text versus having a conversation. Do not get me wrong, sending a sweet text is always welcome, but using a text as the only means of communication, things can get lost in translation. There are certain times, to where having a conversation face to face or over the phone is necessary. For instance, after an argument. If you text after an argument, you can make matters worse because a person can not hear or see your tone through a message. Even if you sent the message as a peace offering, text messages can be misinterpreted. Go back to the days of talking. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Dating also needs to stay apart of the basics. There are so many things that can be turned into a date and can even be done for little to no cost. What I have seen is once a person has gotten the person they desire, they no longer want to work towards keeping that person by doing the very things that got them in the first place. Now, I’m not saying that a relationship relies solely on being taken out. But, a relationship tends to thrive when each person, intentionally carves out time for one another.
4. Time. There are not many times, that I’m with my kids. I love spending time with my girls. So when I finally take time out of my schedule for dating, I take it very serious and I have ground rules. I do not care for a person Knowing where my children and I live. For the first few dates or until I’m comfortable. You would think that was a given, but you would be surprised at how many times, I have talked to someone that wanted to come to my house or to know where I lived. I also do not think it is appropriate to have a first date in such an intimate setting as a person’s home especially if you do not know that person well.
If there is anything I realize about dating after my 30’s it is that I’m more selective about who and what I give my time to. I truly believe my younger years were created for a trial and error period. The older I get I have the mentality of if I know better do doing better. Even though I’m in my 30’s, I’m old school. For that reason, I like to be courted, I like to take things slow, I like a person that is as goal oriented as I am. I know I’m not the only one that cannot be easily persuaded by things that are in store for me. More and more women, have the complete package to bring to the table, therefore, we do not have an issue eating alone if need be.